California Man (song)

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"California Man"
Single by The Move
from the album Message from the Country (2005 reissue)
B-side "Do Ya", "Ella James"
Released April 1972
Format 7" single
Recorded 1971 Philips Studios
Genre Rock and roll
Length 3:37
Label Harvest (UK)
United Artists (US)
Writer(s) Roy Wood
Producer(s) Roy Wood, Jeff Lynne
The Move singles chronology
"California Man"
"Do Ya"

"California Man" is a song by The Move.


Released in 1972 as a single with "Do Ya" and "Ella James" as a double B-side, this was The Move's last official single release. The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), originally conceived as a side-project to The Move, issued its first single, "10538 Overture", a month after this track. A pastiche of Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and Larry Williams, the composition is recorded in a high energy rock 'n' roll style, with lead vocals by both Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood, then jointly leaders of both ELO and The Move. California Man reached number 7 on the UK Singles Chart in May 1972.

In the US the single was issued on the United Artists record label. It was flipped after release, when Jeff Lynne's "Do Ya" B-side proved more popular. It became The Move's only US charting single, peaking at number 93 on the Billboard Hot 100[1] in November 1972. Only Wood, Lynne and drummer Bev Bevan appear on the recording. The picture sleeve has an older picture of The Move, including bassist Rick Price, who was no longer a member of the group by then. The Move's version of the song never originally appeared on one of their studio albums, however it does appear as a bonus track on the reissue of Message from the Country.

"Ella James"[edit]

"Ella James" was a song written by Roy Wood and taken from the band's final album Message from the Country.

It was released as a single in the UK in 1971 with "No Time" from the same album on the flip side, but was quickly withdrawn in favour of "Tonight", and later ended up being a double B-side of "California Man" along with "Do Ya" on the aforementioned single.

The song was covered by The Nashville Teens.


The song was later covered by Cheap Trick. Cheap Trick included it on their 1978 album Heaven Tonight and also released it as a single that year as a follow up to "Surrender". The Cheap Trick version incorporated an instrumental break based on the riff from another Move song, "Brontosaurus (song)."[2][3] It has also been included on several Cheap Trick compilation albums.[4] Cliff Richard has performed it live on occasion. Drake Bell covered the song on 2014 album Ready, Steady, Go!. Comedian Jim Davidson covered the song on his 1985 LP The Jim Davidson Album.

  1. ^ "The Move - Chart history: Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  2. ^ Hayes, M. & Sharp, K. (1998). Reputation Is a Fragile Thing. Poptastic. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-9662081-0-8. 
  3. ^ Swanson, D. (May 23, 2014). "35 Years Ago: Cheap Trick's 'Heaven Tonight Album Released". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 2014-02-15. 
  4. ^ "California Man Cheap Trick". allmusic. Retrieved 2011-03-28. 

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